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Volume 14, Issue 16

April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Updates and Guidance for Schools

This section of the Weekly Field Memo contains updates to COVID-19 guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education released since the last Weekly Field Memo. For a complete list of AOE-issued guidance, please visit our COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools and Continuity of Learning websites. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 response in Vermont, visit the Health Department's Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

Guidance: CARES Act

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued CARES Act: Initial Guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education (4/17)

Guidance: Continuity of Learning 

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued How Educators Can Integrate PBS Learning Media Into PreK-12 Instruction (4/16)
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at

Guidance: Licensing and Educator Preparation Programs

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Educator Licensing COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 4/16) and Student Teaching/Educator Preparation Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 4/16)
Contact: Ellen Cairns at

Guidance: School Construction

The Agency of Education has issued School Construction During a Novel Coronavirus Update (4/20).
Contact: Ted Fisher at

Vermont PBS Scheduling Information Week of 4/27

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education (AOE) are partnering to support continuity of learning for our students and school communities. This partnership provides access to free educational programming through Vermont PBS At-Home Learning. Teachers can create unique accounts with their school email or Google account through PBS LearningMedia. Accounts are free and provide access to a range of additional features. Each Wednesday, the Vermont PBS Week-Ahead Program Schedule will be made available to educators so they can plan for the following week. Resources that can be printed and sent home have been identified within the schedule.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at or Heather Duhamel at

Other Agency of Education and State of Vermont Updates

This section of the Weekly Field Memo contains posts from the Agency of Education and other State of Vermont agencies that are not specically related to the COVID-19 Response.

A Vermont Portrait of a Graduate

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Teachers
Well-Being, Learner Agency, Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Global Citizenship and Academic Proficiency are described within a Vermont Portrait of a Graduate (PoG) as key attributes that our students will need to be successful in career, college and life. At this time, broadening our lens regarding the critical cognitive, personal, and interpersonal skills and abilities that students should be able to demonstrate upon graduation seems to be particularly important. This Vermont Portrait was developed collaboratively by over three hundred students, community members and educators. It can be used as a tool for reviewing and refining proficiency-based graduation requirements, as well as a guide for making programmatic decisions. Supervisory Unions and Districts are welcome to adopt the VT PoG as is, or refine it to reflect their local context. The VT AOE also realizes that some school systems already have PoGs in place. The goal of these documents is to clearly articulate to students, educators, families and community members the expectations for each and every Vermont graduate.
Contact: Sigrid Olson at

Mathematics EdCamp Training - Registration Now Re-opened for Shortened Virtual Meeting

Audience: Principals, Teachers, Special Educators, Special Education Administrators, Curriculum Directors
The Mathematics EdCamp focus is on the integration of social, emotional and academic development and inclusive pedagogy and practices for all mathematics. How do schools create the highest quality mathematics instruction that is differentiated and responsive to the needs of diverse learners? This session will be held virtually May 5, 2020, from 9 – 11 a.m. or May 7, 2020, from 1 – 3 p.m. These sessions will be recorded for future access. Register for either session: Mathematics EdCamp Training. The registration deadline is April 24, 2020. You will receive a TEAMS meeting invite by email a couple of days before the training. If you do not be sure to contact Betty Roy.
Contact: Betty Roy at

Extended Deadline - VTmtss Professional Learning Provider Request for Information

Audience: Professional Learning Providers
The Agency has extended the deadline for an RFI regarding individuals and institutions who can provide Vermont educators with professional learning in areas related to the Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework (VTmtss). This will result in a resource list for Vermont school systems seeking professional learning for VTmtss. Please see the bid site for more information and updated RFI deadlines.
Contact: Julia Scheier at

Governor's Institutes of Vermont Moving to a Digital Platform

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Guidance Counselors, Teachers
The Governor's Institutes of Vermont is excited to announce that we will be moving to an online platform this summer. While we work diligently to develop digital Institutes, applications will remain open and students are encouraged to visit for detailed information and to begin an application today. Tuition is now pay what you can; deadlines and application fees have been waived; alumni can now repeat a previously attended Institute; and students who are seniors and GIV alumni are now eligible to attend. If any cancellations are required due to COVID-19 related issues, GIV will issue a full refund to students and families. Students have nothing to lose, but tons to gain by applying now.
Contact: Barry Steyling at or (802) 865-4448

Courtesy Posts

The views, opinions and resources shared in this section of the WFM are solely those of the original contributors. The Agency of Education does not endorse the views expressed by these contributors and reserves the right to refuse submissions. Questions related to any of these resources should be directed to the organizations, people and opportunities as shared. Please refer to the Weekly Field Memo submission guidelines for additional information.

Until further notice, the Courtesy Posts will not include posts related to in-person training, events or meetings. This is to support social distancing strategies recommended by the Vermont Department of Health.

The Backyard Building Competition for Vermont Students

The Backyard Building Competition is an amazing opportunity for teachers and their students. Max Murray of Goliath Tech Vermont worked tirelessly to pull this competition together. (See the story on WCAX). The competition is designed to offer a way to learn from home about what goes into building various structures and how every piece, from design to completion, work together to achieve a tangible reward. Students will have three weeks to design their project. The design will include conceptual sketches, scaled drawings, materials list, project schedule and a rationale for why they chose their design. Please see the contest rules if you decide to use this opportunity as part of your remote learning plan. Teachers should feel free to provide support and feedback to students, as well as align the project to the learning targets/standards for courses or Personalized Learning Plans.
Contact: Gabriel Hamilton at

Rescuers in the Time of COVID-19 Student Essay Contest

To acknowledge the heroism and sacrifice of Vermont’s medical and service personnel in the fight against COVID-19, the Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM) has launched an essay competition that will challenge Vermont students (grades 4-12) to reflect on those neighbors and relatives on the front lines against this historic threat and how their values echo those rescuers of the World War II Holocaust. Cash prizes for the top three entries in each grade category will be awarded. Entry deadline: September 30, 2020. For additional contest guidelines visit VTHM's website Educational Resources contest page: VTHM 2020 Essay Contest
Contact: Debora Steinerman at

Social Learning Professional Development Courses

Registration is open for two summer social learning courses offered by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. "Social Cognition 1" introduces interventions, strategies and supports for improving social understanding and implementing social cognition groups. Participants in "Supporting Children through Trauma, Poverty, & Adversity" will gain an understanding of adverse childhood experiences and their impact on physical, emotional and cognitive development. Learn more about these courses. Grant funding towards tuition is available.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at

Subscribe Online

The field memo has time-sensitive and relevant information designed for students, teachers, and staff. The agency encourages principals, headmasters, and superintendents to share the memo with their education community. Additionally, individuals can subscribe or unsubscribe online.

Questions? Email Nichole Barnes at